Pets are expensive. That is a fact most pet owners are familiar with. Yet owning a pet responsibly in Chile often proves to be more expensive than most families can afford.
Chile faces a severe social disparity – one of the worst in the world according to the (OECD, 2011- http://www.oecd.org/berlin/47570121.pdf). There is a small minority that live very comfortably, and a vast majority that live on the brink of poverty. Individuals that earn minimum wage in Chile make approximately 400USD per month, less than a third of their US counterparts’ salaries. This is a tight budget at best, and often leaves families facing difficult choices regarding what they should financially prioritize.
The costs pertaining to a pet often do not make the cut. Routine procedures such as spaying or neutering a dog can range somewhere between 50USD and 160USD in Chile – approximately a third of an individual’s wage. A wage that is already being pushed to the limit to provide basic necessities, such as food and shelter, for a family…. there is rarely anything left over, let alone money to pay for a pet.
This is where organizations such as the GAAP step in and ease the financial burden on the poorer families in Chile. The GAAP, to the best of its abilities, routinely seeks collaborations with other organizations and fundraises to ensure that the poorer population of Chile can afford to spay and neuter their dogs, and strives to ensure that veterinary services of any type are scaled to reflect the household income of the owner.
The GAAP makes it a priority to ensure that owners who care about their pets and are proactive in seeking veterinary help can afford to care properly for their pets. You can help as well. We are currently running a crowd-funding campaign to purchase much needed supplies and equipment to continue providing these services to help families provide healthier lifestyles for their pet. Please visit the site, check out the stories on the page, and donate if you can. Did you know that even $10 can buy most of the supplies that we need to do a small dog spay? If you can’t donate, please share our story with others to expand our network and make our dreams possible!